Saturday, March 19, 2011

An interesting short hike near the Palm Springs windmills

This post is a work in progress, as I process video etc it will be added on to here.
Late note- 3 soundclips taken on this hike can be found here. They will be the
ones dated 3-14-2011, they are real audio type files. Feel free to listen to
any of the sound clips there as well as any of the other pages, all are open to
the public and to my blog readers.

It is amazing how much you can see in a two hour hike in the desert.

Here is a video. I will be adding more photos and videos over the next couple
of days, as well as some voice notes. This particular post will be done gradually
as to be quite honest with you guys, driving a bus and humping luggage lately
for around 9- 14 hours a day has taken the writing gene right out of me Sad smile

This video is directed to my brother, but all are welcome to view, consider it my
invitation to all of you to get out from behind your computer and tv screens, and
enjoy this magnificent desert wilderness before it is all gone.

Here is another video showing the raw material that is present now, which may
be tender for a major desert fire later. I am thinking these may be non-native
grasses which are overtaking the desert ecology, if I am wrong I am sure someone here will correct me.

In this video, you can see the windy conditions that I encountered hiking up this ridge. A couple of times higher up, I almost got knocked down by the
never ending desert wind.

If you want to escape the wind, walk this way.

This clip shows the down and dirty climb up the sandy ridge and 2 surprising
discoveries found on the way uphill.

Here a few photographs taken from the area and up on the ridge top for your
0311pshike 002

At this point I reached the end of the ridge, to the left is a steep drop off and it
was too windy for me to try to descend, so I turned around and started back
downhill, deciding to go down the leeward side of the ridge.
0311pshike 005

The remains of an American flag planted here long ago by previous hikers I guess.
0311pshike 006

I ended up going this way. and going down that jeep trail/dirt road seen in the bottom middle of
the photograph just above my logo.
0311pshike 008

From atop there I made the previous photos.

After descending down a jeep trail which was at least a 10 degree grade, I
came out upon a giant wash which followed the edge of the mountain foothills
heading toward the Palm Springs area. In this video I talk about the wash and
the effects of the water upon the landscape.

I decide to take a small detour around a side channel of the wash here in this video.

a little further and to the right I come face to face with Senor Creosote!

Just when I need it, I come across a “footstool” left in the wash, and take a
needed short break and do this video.

0311pshike 011

I am not sure if the old plant above is dead or alive, but if it is dead, it
obviously had a long life span. It takes years to attain such size in such an arid

Well I guess this finishes this short hike trip report. It only took a couple of hours, and I found out again what physical shape I am in, but it was a lot of
fun. It was appalling to find that others who climbed up the ridge before me
so thoughtfully left their trash behind, mainly empty plastic water bottles.
A note of caution for anyone wanting to climb this ridge- the high grasses growing all over serve as cover along with the craggy rocks for some of the deserts’ residents. Watch where you place your hands and feet. You might
step on a rattlesnake up there, an encounter I can assure you that won’t be forgotten, trust me.
Some of the rocks are loose and there are holes and
fissures in the surface covered up by the grasses. So be careful.

The wind was blowing at around 30 miles per hour when I was there and it literally almost blew me over 2 or 3 times with higher gusts.

There is a reason why thousands of wind turbines are located here.

But it really was great fun, and I sincerely doubt that you will have to “share the
trail.” If that is your cup of tea, you crave solitude and like to hear yourself think,
then this area is the place for you.

Here is a google earth photo showing the area, the 2 yellow pins are where I
parked the morongomobile and where I ended up on the ridge, unable to go
further due to the dropoff.
ScreenHunter_01 Mar. 19 11.42

This really was a blast. Looking at the satellite view from 2 kilometers up it
really doesn’t seem like much, and it really wasn’t in the grand scheme of
things, but it was a chance to escape the big city and to see a spot that I
always wanted to walk and to explore, and to challenge myself by doing a
little climb up into some real wind gusts, it was great.

I hope to see some of you out there one day.

This concludes the trip report, hope you liked it.